I spent a part of this weekend organizing and compiling notes from random notebooks into my panda unicorn notebook a coworker gifted me. I really enjoyed my time spent doing it. Studying, learning and synthesizing information brings me a lot of joy. I know that now. However, when I was younger it brought me a lot of pain. I was ashamed to get all As and to have to walk up and down the aisle at honors day. I would hang my head so no one would see me.
Somewhere in my youth growing up in this small country town I began to hate being the nerdy kid. I was not cool. I would never get a girlfriend. I would never be like my older cousins. "Cooler" kids bullied me and picked fights with me for no reason other than me being me.
In many ways the identity I created over the last 2 decades had everything to do with not being this nerdy kid. I was willing to hurt myself, my mind and my body, and others just to not identify with a younger me.
Much of my recovery has been less about quitting substances and more about becoming ok with myself. What activities do I enjoy? What sort of person do I want to be?
I am a grown ass man, and I love rainbows and unicorns. I practice yoga, wear nice shoes and enjoy art. I've had people assume I was gay simply because of these characteristics. I was flattered.
If I am in a book store I browse by the Dungeons and Dragons books and reminisce about the parts of my youth I did enjoy. Sitting in a circle with my Harrison friends playing DnD or one of favorite birthday gifts, an index card with attributes for a powerful elven mage.
I enjoy video games. And no not FIFA or Madden. I'm either a cute little avatar named Auggie Bendoggie or a dwarven mage killing dragons.
Do I fit the mold of a 40 year old Southern software executive? Probably not. Do I care? No. I am stronger than I have ever been and getting stronger.
What I do care about is being authentic, aware and compassionate. I care about my friends, family and my communities, and if I adversely affect them in anyway I will evaluate and adjust as necessary.
I guess I just needed to get this out. Thank you.